Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Rotherham taxis drivers strike over new rules

Taxi drivers in Rotherham have gone on strike over new regulations requiring them to install CCTV equipment.

The council said it was "disappointed" by the decision.

The new rules come after the Jay report into child sexual exploitation (CSE) in the town, which said taxis had been used by abusers to traffic victims.

The strike action by both private hire and hackney carriage drivers will run from 18:00 BST on Saturday until 06:00 on Sunday.

The town has around 50 hackney carriage taxis and 800 private hire vehicles.

'Raising standards'

Drivers are concerned about the costs of the rule change and the impact on their personal lives when many also use their vehicles as private cars.

Abdul Tariq, chair of the Rotherham Private Hire Association, said: "Why is the majority being penalised for the actions of a minority?

"We appreciate what has happened and we can't imagine how the victims [of child sexual exploitation] are feeling but that doesn't mean the trade is corrupt."

Commissioner Mary Ney, who is responsible for licensing for Rotherham Council, said: "By making these changes the council is ensuring the protection and safety of the public and rebuilding public confidence in the taxi trade, which currently has a poor reputation.

"The proposals within the new policy are all geared to raising the bar in terms of the standards expected by the public and to ensure the public and particularly young people can feel safe using the service"

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